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Always Feeling Tired? These Solutions Can Help You Get Your Energy Back

Always Feeling Tired? These Solutions Can Help You Get Your Energy Back

It’s 1 p.m. – just after your lunch break – and you can feel yourself slipping, slipping, slipping into an unwelcome post-meal nap. How are you supposed to complete your assignments when exhaustion envelops you like a thick, heavy fog? If you’re tired of feeling tired, try these simple tricks to get some more energy.

1. Get Sufficient Sleep

Simple science: you use your fuel during the day and require hours of unconsciousness to replenish. Actor Matthew McConaughey swears by 8.5 hours of sleep each night. “I’m not near as good the next day if I get less,” he once told People magazine.

2. Eat Your Energy

Brownies and Cheetos are darn tasty, but they won’t give you long-lasting energy. Reach for from-the-earth options like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. These foods carry protein and fiber, giving you hours of stamina instead of the minute-long jolt one gets from eating cheese curls.

Take a lesson from Carly Rae Jepson. The singer, most famous for her song “Call Me Maybe,” told Bon Appétit: “I have the same thing for breakfast every day: vanilla yogurt with granola and fruit. And if I can get my hands on some boiled eggs, I go for those, too.”

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3. Exercise

Go out and get your heart pumping. Exercise releases endorphins that will leave you feeling happy and awake. Plus, if you break a sweat during the day, you’ll sleep better at night. Double win!

4. Put Effort Into Your Appearance

When you’re confident in your appearance, you’ll feel more alive. There’s no denying we’re our least energetic selves when we’re at home, on the couch, looking ugly. Get a new haircut, buy a new outfit or try a new shade of lipstick – when you feel attractive, you’ll get a jolt every time someone looks at you.

5. Be Social

Don’t waste your beauty efforts in solitude. Surround your pretty self with conversation and laughter in order to boost your spirits and vivacity. Audrey Hepburn once said, “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” In order to reap the benefits of socializing, opt for positive, happy companions.

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6. Cut Caffeine Midday


Caffeine lingers in your system for hours after your last cup. This can hinder your ability to fall asleep and lower your rest quality when you do sleep. Even decaf varieties have traces of caffeine, so choose your drinks wisely (choose water!).

7. Drink Lots of Water

Hydration is key in all factors of health, and sleep is no exception. Your body will work harder to pump blood and carry out all of its functions if your cells are thirsty. A-listers like Beyoncé, Jessica Alba and Miranda Kerr all swear by the powers of water. If drinking enough is tough for you, grab some celery, broccoli or juicy fruits to get some water through your foods.

8. Don’t Booze Yourself to Sleep

Drinking alcohol before sleep – or even, dare I say it, to put yourself to sleep – is actually a bad idea. Boozed-up sleep is restless and low quality, which will leave you with regrets the next day.

9. Be Your Own Cheerleader

Basking in self-pity is the surest way to use up (or should I say waste?) all of your energy. Congratulate yourself for triumphs and use compliments generously. When you feel down, look for positives and seek company that will give you some good energy. Do not take to sulking alone on the couch!

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10. Let Go of Stress


Whether it’s work, family or personal issues, life is full of stressors that are determined to tire us out (or so it may seem). Tackle these things one at a time, and seek help if necessary.

11. Let Go of Jealousy

Jealousy, like stress and general negativity, can suck up our resources, resulting in a tired, dried-up existence. It’s natural to want what others have, but it is a self-destroying practice. Consider all of the things you have. Prioritize gratefulness and shift your perspective toward the bright side.

12. Smile More

It’s life’s cheapest, most effective accessory! Smiling more can actually lift your spirits and make you feel more energetic. Like I said before, every interaction is an exchange of energy. If you’re smiling at someone, the other person is more likely to respond with her own positive energy.

13. Write To-Do Lists

If you’re feeling bogged down with tasks, take to writing lists. This may make it seem like you have even more to do, but it will really help you rank the items by importance. Complete the minor items first, checking them off as you go. You’ll feel more accomplished, setting you on a productivity roll.

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14. Get Fresh Air


Fill your lungs with the great outdoors to make your cells feel more alive. Your body can complete its internal workings easier when cells are at their best. Rain, wind and sunshine will also engage your sensory system and wake you up to your surroundings.

15. Listen to Music

There’s a reason people call it “pump up” music. Certain varieties can really give you a push. Your body can feel the rhythm and fend off the tiredness. Look at athletes: Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps has a workout playlist that revs him up for competitions. It certainly works for him!

16. Take a Shower

Finally, if you need an immediate boost, hop in the shower. The water, which will be more effective when cold, will give you the jolt you need to finish the day’s duties.

Incorporate one or more of these into your life in order to wind up and do more.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Kayla Matthews

Productivity and self-improvement blogger

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

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